Helicopter Parent, Satellite Parent or Involved Parent – Which One Are You?

The recent phenomenon of helicopter parenting has its share of critics, and additionally there are other terms that are often used in the pejorative sense to describe parents and parenting styles.

  • Satellite parents are similar to helicopter parents in that they hover over and supervise their kids, but this is done from a distance, as in the case of kids who have gone off to college and so on.
  • The curling parent goes forth and removes every little obstacle to smooth the path for their child.
  • The Blackhawk parent helps their child in a surreptitious manner; solving kids’ problems without their being aware that the parent is responsible for smoothing things over.

Clearly all these labels are given for parenting styles that tend to be overprotective or in cases even intrusive that can result in hampering self-esteem and proper development of children such as children failing to become self-reliant, and so on.

However all these labels shouldn’t deter parents from being involved in their children’s lives – there is the need here to distinguish between “being positively involved” and “being intrusive”.

Parental involvement can have a positive influence on children in so many different ways – kids tend to perform well academically, there are fewer chances of children abusing dangerous substances, and kids may also turn out to be more emotionally and socially adept.

Helping a child with their homework, keeping an eye on the kind of friends that they have, communicating regularly and effectively, and supervising their activities to an age-appropriate extent is always sound parenting and parents need not feel that they have to restrict their involvement for fear of some or other label.

So long as a parent doesn’t micro-manage everything or defend a child’s misbehavior, or offer help beyond required levels, involvement is a good thing.


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